Kerfing (Lining)

The top and back are held to the sides of the guitar with linings made from a long wood strip with dozens of close "kerf" cuts that allow it to be bent around the perimeter of the guitar. From the kerf cuts, lining gets its other name: kerfing. These photos provide just a glimpse of the process of making and installing kerfing.

This is a fixture for making the lining. With this fixture, four lining strips are held in place by a vacuum (one strip is shown in place) while cuts are done on the Fadal using a right-angle head to turn the saw blade. Individual channels (each with its own rubber gasket) are needed between each kerf due to air leakage through the cuts. Jim designed this fixture himself and made it with the Fadal; it may be his magnum opus Fadal creation because of its intricacy. (The gray box around the fixture is just for storage.)

Here you see the fixture in action, holding the lining in place as the right-angle head makes the kerf cuts.

Here lining is being glued to two sides. Many small C-clamps and "spring" clamps (using heavy-duty rubber bands to supply clamping force) provide pressure along the entire length of the lining until the glue sets. Some spare shims for the clamps are visible on the table.

A close-up of the kerfing clamps in action.